Marty Burns will periodically answer questions from SI.com users in his mailbag.
On ice: One of the biggest laments of the hockey fan throughout this lost season has been the specter of no final acts in the careers of greats like Steve Yzerman and Mario Lemieux. Well, why not freeze them? That's right, get in touch with the place that has Teddy Ballgame's head and put the old guys in the big chill until there's hockey again. Hey, it worked for Austin Powers. Yeah, Baby!
NHL Slugfest: Spend the next few months teaching top-flight pugilists like Bernard Hopkins, Sugar Shane Mosley and Vitaly Klitchko how to skate. Then turn them loose in arenas and let them show the goons a thing or two. Can you imagine a Klitchko-Tie Domi bout? And who wouldn't want to see south-of-the-border specialist Andrew Golata try to break Matthew Barnaby's steel cup?
Rules? Schmules!: Get rid of icing. Eliminate the two-line pass. Play the last minute of every period with no goalies. Put in a two-goal line. Institute four-man faceoffs. These things could all work. At least they're better than the neutral-zone trap.
Go Keanu: Everybody knows that it's impossible for Americans to follow the puck, especially on TV. Canadians are genetically predisposed to seeing a two-ounce piece of rubber at 100 mph, but U.S. DNA lacks that characteristic. So, each game should be directed by the same guys who did the Matrix series, the better to slow action down and let fans see exactly where the damn thing went.
Big Rig: Let's face it, a Calgary-Tampa Bay Stanley Cup series won't cut it in the post-lockout era. So, set it up so that Montreal, New York, Chicago and Tronno rotate through the final round every couple years. Come on, do you really think the Yanks and Red Sox got to the top by themselves?
There they are, Gary, all your answers. See you next September at training camp.
EL HOMBRE SEZ: Former Red Sox outfielder Mike Greenwell is demanding that Major League Baseball award him the '88 MVP award, now that winner Jose Canseco has admitted to using steroids. Sounds like a great idea. While we're at it, let's go back and reverse the outcomes of every game played by Canseco, Jason Giambi, Ken Caminiti and any other juicer. Nice try, Mike, but no trophy.
AND ANOTHER THING: It's amazing that one of LeBron James' handlers hasn't pointed out the value of participating in the Slam Dunk Contest Saturday in Denver. What a great chance to pay homage to Dr. J, David Thompson and the great ABA dunkers, who staged the first-ever contest back at the '76 ABA All-Star Game. James could also give a nod to 'Nique, Larry Nance and the other skywalkers who participated in the event's inaugural competition (also held in Denver) in '84.
OK, so maybe James doesn't win, but he'll earn huge points for the gesture and further solidify his legendary status by showing up and performing. Maybe he could get clearance to wear a different vintage jersey on every dunk. Or he could replicate each of Dr. J's dunks from '76 during his routine. The opportunities for a publicity bonanza, not to mention another pile of endorsement cash, are endless. El Hombre's a genius, but he can't be the only person who's thought of this.